In all the years we’ve known each other, I’ve never pretended to be a healthy breakfast eater. My family and I subscribe to more of a “no carb left behind” breakfast mentality where foods like pancakes, scones, and these cookies and cream rolls feel right at home on our plates. These habits are so engrained in my children that any attempt at a healthy-ish breakfast (i.e. smoothies, oatmeal, or basically anything not including a frosting or chocolate chips) is met with disgruntled faces all puckered in disgust. I blame my job.
Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls
A few weeks ago, King Arthur Baking asked me to create my own spin on their recipe of the year: Perfectly Pillowy Cinnamon Rolls. I rarely stray from my own cinnamon roll recipe, but I know anything with the King Arthur stamp of approval is worthwhile. Clearly, given our history of breakfast habits in my own home, the only logical thing to do was to make the rolls even more decadent with the addition of a chocolate sandwich cookie filling. Thus, cookies and cream rolls were born.
So I know you’re wondering: were they good??? Well, I’ll let you look at the photos and decide for yourself. In short, HECK YES. These rolls were shockingly soft even after cooling, and the flavor was on point in every respect. The secret is the dough used here which is softened by a tangzhong- a paste-like mixture of cooked milk and flour. The tangzhong combines with a few other ingredients like yeast, bread flour, butter, and sugar before rising. After an hour in a warm kitchen, the dough is set for rolling and filling with crushed cookies and butter. *DROOL*
Turns out, King Arthur’s dough is, in fact, incredible, and I’ll happily use it when the occasion presents itself. I hope you will give these cookies and cream rolls a try too! They’re a terrific balance of sweet and the texture is out of this world. Truly. Many thanks to KAB for sharing this recipe with me, and happy baking to all of you! I hope you enjoy.
If you like these cookies and cream rolls you should try:
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Mini Cinnamon Rolls
Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls
Chocolate Sweet Rolls
Cookies and Cream Cookies
Cookies and Cream Rolls
These cookies and cream rolls are soft and fluffy pastries with a chocolate sandwich cookie filling and a sweet and tangy glaze.
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 240
- Yield: 8
- Category: Breakfast
- 1/2 cup (113g) whole milk
- 3 tablespoons (23g) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
- 2/3 cup (151g) whole milk, cold
- 2 1/2 cups (300g) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
- 1 teaspoon (6g) salt
- 2 tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (56 gm) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (about 10 cookies processed to a sandy mixture weighing 115 gm)
- 1–1/2 tablespoons (21g) butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/16 teaspoon (pinch) salt
- 1 1/2 cups (170g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 to 2 tablespoons (14g to 28g) milk, cream, or buttermilk; enough to thin to desired consistency
To make the tangzhong:
- Combine both the ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk until no lumps remain.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook the mixture, stirring regularly, until thickened, paste-like, and the spoon or spatula leaves lines on the bottom of the pan. This should take 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the strength of your burner.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl, the bowl of a stand mixer, or the bucket of a bread machine (whatever you plan to knead the dough in).
To make the dough:
- Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Add the cold milk, then the flour and remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl in the order listed; the heat from the tangzhong will help to warm the cold milk.
- Mix — by hand, on low speed of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, or in a bread machine set to the dough cycle — to bring the dough together. Next, knead the dough until it’s smooth, elastic, and tacky. This will take up to 15 minutes by hand, 10 to 12 minutes on medium-low speed of a mixer, or the length of the dough cycle in a bread machine.
- Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a reusable cover.
- Let the dough rise until puffy but not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 to 90 minutes (depending on the warmth of your kitchen).
To assemble the rolls:
- Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and press it into a 10” x 12” rectangle that’s about 1/2” thick. For evenly shaped rolls, try to pat the dough into an actual rectangle (with corners), rather than an oval.
- Pour the butter onto the dough and use a pastry brush to spread it out all over the dough. Sprinkle the cookie crumbs over the dough, covering all but a 1/2” strip along one long side.
- Starting with the filling-covered long side, roll the dough into a log. Score the dough lightly into eight equal 1 1/2” to 2” pieces; this will make large, saucer-sized cinnamon rolls — their generous size is part of their charm. Cut the dough at the score marks. Dental floss will give you the cleanest cut: pull off a long piece of floss, loop it underneath the log at the score mark, and pull the ends in opposite directions to cut the dough. Repeat until you’ve cut all of the rolls. If you don’t have dental floss, a bench knife or sharp knife will work.
- Place the rolls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them so there’s at least 2” between each one and they’re 2” away from the edges of the pan; a 3-2-3 arrangement works well. To prevent them from unraveling while they rise and bake, tuck the ends of the spirals underneath the rolls so that they’re held in place.
- Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap or a reusable cover and let them rise for 30 to 60 minutes (depending on the warmth of your kitchen). The rolls should be puffy and the dough shouldn’t bounce back immediately when gently pressed.
- About 20 minutes before you’re ready to bake, position a rack in the top third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bake the rolls for 14 to 18 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown and a digital thermometer inserted into the center of one roll reads 190°F. Bake for the lesser amount of time for extra-soft rolls, and the longer amount of time for rolls with a bit more color and slightly firmer texture.
To make the icing:
- Combine the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons (21g) melted butter with the remaining icing ingredients in a medium bowl, mixing with a spatula until smooth. Milk makes a lovely frosting; using cream in place of milk creates an extra layer of richness, while substituting buttermilk adds subtle tang, a nice counterpoint to the icing’s overall sweetness.
- Ice the rolls and serve immediately. If you’re planning to serve the rolls later, wait to ice them until just before serving. Store icing at room temperature, tightly covered, until you’re ready to use it.
- Store completely cooled rolls, un-iced and well wrapped, for a couple of days at room temperature; or freeze for up to 1 month.
12 thoughts on “Cookies and Cream Rolls”
Best roll recipe ever. They are the right softness, very light and so good I have to keep making them over and over. Thank you for a wonderful addition to my baking life
Do you think I could freeze them after before second rise so in rolls after filling?
Thank you. Looking forward to making them.
These should seriously be illegal. You can’t have people eating something this good and thinking they can get away with it….
After I’d combined all the ingredients in my stand mixer I added 1/4 cup starter and a bit more bread flour to the mixer (how much you need add depends on the hydration of your starter. I added 3 tbs). I tried it because I like the flavor of sourdough. The rise took a bit longer. The rolls weren’t quite as pillowy. Both ways are great. Most people wouldn’t know the difference.
Hi Katie, this recipe looks incredible! Do you think it’s possible to make a vegan/lactose free version? Substitute milk alternatives perhaps? Or do you have recommendations of a similar but vegan recipe – I certainly want these as is but also want to make for family who are lactose intolerant. Thank you!
I would recommend lactose-free milk!!
Can you use a food processor?
Do you leave the icing inside of the chocolate sandwich cookies when you crush them? Or remove the icing from in between and only use the cookies themselves? Thanks!
Yes! Leave it in. 🙂
Looking to try your amazing riff on the classic recipe. I just had a question about the icing. The original KA recipe calls for 3 tbs of butter but your recipe calls for 1.5 tbs. I was curious as to the reason for the deviation and how the outcome may be different? Thanks!
These look so delicious and I can’t wait to try them! I don’t have yeast but do have a sourdough starter. Do you know if using a starter would work in this recipe? I tried looking on King Arthur’s page since that is where I have gotten most of my starter information and recipes. Thank you!!
I haven’t tried, so I can’t say. Also, I should let you know, every sourdough starter I’ve had has died a slow and painful death… I’m not to be trusted with such. 😉